Beside Still Waters – Psalm 23 Study Session II
Last week we gained a better understanding of David by getting to know his story as we began this study of Psalm 23.
This week in verse 2 David writes “He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me besides still waters.” Ps 23:2
God does two things here. He (1) “makes” and (2) “leads.”.
Notice God didn’t suggest David lie down but He “makes” him perhaps knowing David like many of us wouldn’t voluntarily rest on his own.
So many people suffer emotionally and physically due to stress, busyness, worry and anxiety, pushing the mind and body to exhaustion never stopping to “lie down” and rest. We carry burdens God never intended often forgetting to “Give all your worries and cares to God for He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NLT
There’s too much to do, places to go, people to see, work to be done, bills to pay, children to be transported, homes and yards to maintain, social media to scroll and tv to watch.
For years I avoided being still afraid of what I might hear.
What if God commanded me to do something I didn’t want to do like forgive, apologize, confront issues or take responsibility for my life. I was also afraid that if I stopped to rest I might fall behind or miss out.
Resting is so important in our spiritual walk that God set the example for us to follow. On the seventh day “He rested from all the work of creating He had done.” Gen 2:1
In Ps 23:2 God provides the place David is to lie down.
It wasn’t a hot, dry, miserable desert but a blooming, flourishing, green pasture overflowing with nature’s abundance like we see in Spring when our world transforms from barren to blossoming.
On March 19 we welcomed Spring and it wasn’t long after we were asked to stay home.
I wonder if this is God’s way of gently “making” us rest providing us a front row seat to listen and hear “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of His hands.” Psalms 19:1. This ongoing declaration of praise we’ve never heard or seen because we were too busy.
God is granting us permission to set aside our to-do lists and “lie down.” He’s presenting us with a gift we didn’t even know we needed – the gift of time to rest.
Ps 23:2 continues “He leads me besides still waters.” God not only instructs but He also leads.
I don’t know about you but I’ve often tried to tell God how to do His job by making suggestions or throwing my two cents in.
But in verse 2 He asks us to submit our will, hand over our egos and let Him lead.
To trust Him when He promised that “I know the plans I have for you saith the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jer 29:11.
His plans for us are clear: Prosperity, Protection, Hope and a Future.
Like the prodigal son who returns home hungry, hopeless, broke and broken to a father who welcomes him back without condemnation so can we. Luke 15:11-32. It’s never too late to return home into the arms of a loving God.
Letting God lead means trusting in His Word knowing “the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
God wants to lead us into a place of peace and quiet so He can be heard without interruption, noise, crowds or cell phones.
So, how do we hear from God?
Elijah shows us. He’s in a frustrating situation and God tells him to “Go out and stand on the mountain of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” 1 Kings 19:11
First came a “great and powerful wind … but the Lord was not in the wind” then came an earthquake “but the Lord was not in the earthquake” then a fire “but the Lord was not in the fire.”
After the fire “came a gentle whisper.” 1 Kings 19:11-18.
That still, small voice telling us when to speak or remain silent, when to stay or go, what to do or not do or when something or someone needs to be in our lives or doesn’t is the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit, who guides, directs, warns, advises, empowers, encourages and comforts and “He will lead you into all truth.” John 16:13
Just because it seems the world is falling apart doesn’t mean ours has to as well.
God is leading us, holding our hand to keep us from stumbling as we make our way through the uncertainty. “For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living.” Psalm 56:13
My prayer for you today is simply this “May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13.
Because while we may not what tomorrow holds we know Who holds tomorrow.
1. What else does God’s Word tell us about the being still, being quiet and taking time to rest? Read: *Psalms 62:5-6 *Lamentations 3:24-26 *Matthew 11:28-30 *Psalms 4:8
2. To understand who the Holy Spirit is and what His role is in our lives read the following scriptures: *John 14:26 *John 16:12-14 *Romans 8:26
3. If possible after completing work or school log off, turn down the noise and news, beeps, alerts and notifications. Leave the phone behind and go for a stroll, watch the sunset or simply sit out under the night sky. “Lie Down” — Be Led”